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Refineries Get Refined, Smite the Mite!, Tap Water: Not Vegan, Not Kosher?
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

Refining the air: The Environmental Protection Agency proposed new rules yesterday for reducing toxic air emissions, such as benzene, from oil refineries. The refining industry, which has enjoyed two decades without updates to its emission standards, isn’t happy for the sudden attention (or the lawsuit by environmental groups that brought it). But the people of Port Arthur, Texas, and other towns in the wake of Big Oil may one day breathe a little easier (see “American Sacrifice Zone”). Associated Press

The thrill of the spill: It must suck having to respond to a pipeline spill early in the morning—like yesterday's 10,000 gallons that covered a half-mile stretch of Los Angeles—especially without knowing the basics. For instance, where the oil is coming from, where it’s going, who owns it, and very importantly, what’s in it. But hey, it’s not like these things happen every day. Oh wait, they do. OnEarth

Rain, rain come our way: Unfortunately, SoCal is already burning, but nothing says national crisis like a big red map of the country, showing where drought and wildfires will likely hit the hardest this year…or in this case, five big red maps. Vox

Mighty bee mite: Finally some good(ish) news: The country’s honeybees had a relatively healthy winter, with significantly fewer losses than has been typical for the season of late. A survey of beekeepers at over 7,000 U.S. commercial colonies found that beekeepers who kept Varroa mites (pictured above) at bay had more bees and baby bees come spring. Now if we could only do something about the summer slaughter of these primo pollinators ... (see “Honeybees to EPA: Where Is Thy Sting?”). Quartz

To (not) catch a predator: Many reasons may be contributing to the die-offs of salt marshes along New England coastlines, but a recent study points the finger at recreational fishing. By removing striped bass, blue crabs, and other predators from the ecosystem, fishermen set up smaller marsh crabs with an all-you-can-eat buffet of cordgrass. And without the roots of the cordgrass anchoring soil, these once lush ecosystems begin to unravel. New York Times

DAILY DISTRACTION

Shrimp cocktail: In the spirit of New York City’s “WaterWeek,” here’s a little (microscopic, actually) fun fact. Did you know NYC’s tap water isn’t technically vegan or kosher? Nope. As we speak, copepods—tiny crustaceans that love to eat mosquito larvae—are swimming their way through the city’s pipes and down the pipes of New Yorkers. (And we're all pretty fine with it, because streaming clean water into your home is awesome!) Inhabitat

OTHER HEADLINES

Environmental Groups Say Kentucky Ash Pond Is Leaking Contaminants WFPL

Oklahoma House Committee Rejects Science Standards over Teaching the 'Hyperbole of Climate Change Climate Progress

Critics Take Aim at Alberta Plan to Sell Endangered Caribou Habitat Globe and Mail

Tiny Nuclear Waste Fee Added Up to Billions Los Angeles Times

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

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